Because Daddy’s Can’t Have All the Fun!

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My super cute acomplice in our secret mission to get ice cream!

In a normal week, my life is fairly routine. Partially, because as previously established, I like being a hamster on a wheel. Partially because being a mom of three kids requires some structure to make sure they all have clean underware, lunches for school and rides to and from all activities. And also, it seems like the role of mom is keeping the household running smoothly. Mostly evverything we do in the Russell family has some kind of plan: dinners? Meal plan. Dirty house? Chore plan. Sassy pants kids? Discipline plan.

So in general, mom takes the role of planner. And in our house, dad takes the role of “big softy”. Sure the kids have a bedtime, but, wee’ll let them stay up tonight because we’re having so much fun. Sure, you planned for us to eat leftovers, but, we’re going to get Taco Bell instead. (This is not to say dad takes the role of softy about sassy pants kids, however. In fact, in our house, dad takes the role of drill seargant if disrespect/defiance are involved) So over the years of day in day out mom and dad living in their respective roles, the kids come to know what to expect. Which dear friends, is where a wonderful ooportunity lies. Every so often, you need to startle your kids with something silly/spontaneous/unexpected. I have come to call these secret missions. My favorite secret missions involve creating a mess, which historically I never sanction, or getting junk food late at night, which is equally unusual as I am the Health Patrol. If you combine the two, all kinds of hilarity ensues! When my kids were much younger, the unexpected twists were geared toward their ages and me not losing my mind the next morning. Playing in the rain, eating popcorn for dinner while building the world’s largest lincoln log village on the dining room table, going out after bathtime in our jammies to get an ice cream cone: fun but not anything that would create the world’s crankiest kids in the morning. As the kids have aged, my favorite secret missions still remain breaking the rules on food and messes. And let me tell you, nine year old girls, LOVE a good secret mission. So last night, when Emma told me she was craving some ice cream, I seized the moment. She and I were going to play a little Chutes and Ladders downstairs by ourselves. All the boys were otherwise occupied. So I looked at her and said, “Come on sister! This is the perfect time for a run to Dairy Queen for a Peanut Buster Parfait!” It was 9:30 and she was in her jammies, so we bundled her in one of my zip ups and snuck out of the house. Ice cream tastes better when there is a level of covertness involved, I assure you.

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